Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Tianjin Eye- The Ferris Wheel on a Bridge

After a 30 minute ride via the South Beijing terminal super train (with speeds of 329km/hr), we arrived at the picturesque Northern city of Tianjin, China. Its main attractions include the Ancient Culture Street, the Tianjin and Boxer Rebellion Museum, Jinwan Square and the Tianjin eye. The Tianjin Eye is a 120-metre (390 ft) tall giant Ferris wheel built above the Yongle Bridge (formerly Chihai Bridge), over the Hai River in Tianjin, China. It is the only Ferris wheel in the world to have been constructed over a bridge.

Construction started in 2007, with completion of the main body on 18 December 2007, and the wheel opened to the public on 7 April 2008. At the time of completion, only the 135 m (443 ft) London Eye, 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang, and 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer were taller.

Tianjin Eye is one of four 120 m Ferris wheels in China, the other three being Changsha Ferris Wheel (completed 2004), Suzhou Ferris Wheel (completed 2009), and Zhengzhou Ferris Wheel (completed 2003). The only Chinese Ferris wheel with a greater height is the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang, which opened in 2006. The 208 m (682 ft) Beijing Great Wheel, under construction since 2007 and originally planned to open in 2008, has been delayed until 2010. Tianjin Eye is electrically powered and has 48 passenger capsules, each able to carry 8 passengers, and takes 30 minutes to complete a rotation, giving a maximum capacity of 768 passengers per hour.

Above is a stamp issue by Austria in 1966 to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Ferris Wheel.